PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson gave the keynote address at the 2018 Paragould Chamber of Commerce banquet Monday night.
Paragould Chamber Director of Economic Development & CEO Sue McGowan said over 500 people attended the night's event
During the program, Charles Palmer was recognized as "Ambassador of the Year", Paragould Class 19 was recognized as Leadership Paragould Alumni "Best Class", and Ty Sims was awarded Chamber Member of the Year.
Jeff Block was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Governor Hutchinson was introduced by Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill.
The governor spoke about economic initiatives and accomplishments in Greene County and Paragould.
"In the last three years, our department of economic development in my administration has been able to sign 10 incentive agreements with companies here in Greene County." Hutchinson said. "that results in over 63 million dollars in new investments and over 300 jobs added."
The governor also credited a growing economic base with lower tax rates and education initiatives around the state as reasons the economy is seeing growth.
Statewide, Hutchinson said one of the main jobs he's enjoyed doing was promoting the state.
He recalled a recent trip to New York, where he talked to a journalist and informed them that Arkansas was the number 1 producer of rice in America, producing 50% of America's rice supply.
Governor Hutchinson said the journalist thought America imported all of its rice.